Waler Horse and Waler Horse Society
The Waler Horse Society of Australia Inc. was established in 1986 in memory of the soldiers that fought for our freedom and to honour the horses that carried them. In 1989 the first horses were recorded in a Waler Horse Studbook to ensure the recognition and preservation of this uniquely Australian breed once known only as a type which has become an integral part of Australian History.
Soon after the society began, it was established by foundation members that a number of the properties from where horses were being culled were actually old remount properties which had maintained the original breed lines of horses used in the various wars but by 1946 the need for remounts was phasing out and the export trade drastically reduced. After the horse trade to India came to a standstill in the 1960’s, Walers ceased to be commercially bred and many were simply abandoned to run wild on outback stations and breeding in other parts of Australia was scaled down.
Walers running wild on these outback properties, those horses descendant of remounts became the chief source of retaining and re-establishing Australian horses, not as a type, but as a breed with over two hundred years of breeding.
The crusade to save these horses became the work of The Waler Horse Society of Australia Inc, its aim to procure enough of the horses from these old bloodlines to begin a Studbook for the Waler horses. This happened at a crucial time, for the eradication of all feral animals was well under way (Government decreed) and another five years would indeed have seen the extinction of the Waler as they have probably all gone from the bush.
From the mid 1940’s no new blood, that is no other breeds, were crossed to these existing Walers. Therefore, all Walers today must be from bloodlines that came to Australia before 1945. Horses that are crossed with any other breeds arriving after 1945 will be registered as Part Bred Walers. This has been done to ensure that the breed has an uncompromising future and legendary Waler horses can live on.
The aim of the Society is to promote the breeding and preservation of this unique Australian horse.
By defining the Waler horse in the Standard of Excellence, an ideal is set for breeding programs. A Studbook and Horse Register set up by the WHSA establishes the Australian Waler Horse as a breed (as distinct from a type) following documented acceptable breeding guidelines. The Waler is classed as a Warm-blooded breed, with the breeding based on the old bloodlines of the Australian remount horses.
Since the Society was established it has successfully researched, located and classified many Walers whilst documenting the history that led to their development as a breed today. The WHSA aims to build awareness within the horse world and the wider public of the Waler heritage, their importance in Australian history and possibilities for their future.
Defining the Waler
A handsome outstanding horse showing remarkable bone and robustness, the Waler has many excellent attributes. Its jumping ability is well known and can be seen in the length of gaskin, splendid quarters and well-formed hocks. His comfort as a riding horse shows in his long ground-covering walk coming from a good, well sloped shoulder, strong back, powerful legs, big clean joints and correctly sloped pasterns, at an angle corresponding to the shoulder. His stamina and endurance are unsurpassed, his chest spaced for plenty of heart and lung room, his girth deep and his ribs well sprung. A strong head with an alert appearance, wide set kind eyes, well positioned onto a graceful but strong neck with a good length of rein. As befitting a cavalry horse, some carry their heads high, to protect the rider. His make-up originates from a diverse mix of pony, draught, coach and riding horse.
All this info. is from the website of the Waler Association, www.walerhorse.com